Prighozin accuses Moscow: “Russian units have withdrawn leaving our positions exposed”.
Between advance and retirement announcements, the battle for Bakhmut continues between the Ukrainian and Russian forces. The leader of the Wagner group, Yevgeni Prigozhin, accused the Russian military leaders of giving ground to the army of Kiev, giving his forces the order to withdraw to the north of the disputed city and thus leaving some positions of his fighters exposed. “Unfortunately, Russian units have retreated up to 570 meters north of Bakhmut,” Prigozhin said in a voicemail, asking Defense Minister Serguei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valeri Gerasimov to stop the retreat. . Prigozhin recently denounced that he and his men were abandoned by the Russian military high command, and threatened to stop if supplies do not increase.
Wagner says he took most of the city, albeit at enormous human cost. But Ukrainian forces claim advances ranging from 150 to 1,700 meters. “Bakhmut remains the epicenter of hostilities in eastern Ukraine. Our units continue to flank during the fighting… they have covered 150 to 1700 meters in the last 24 hours,” said Serhii Cherevatyi, group spokesman of the Ukrainian forces, adding that yesterday 130 Russian soldiers were killed on this front, 4 were captured and 145 wounded.
In addition, two Msta artillery systems, an Orlan-10 drone and ten Russian depots were destroyed. The spokesman stressed that Russian forces continue to try to conquer Bakhmutcities which by now they have practically destroyed: there have been 487 artillery strikes, six air raids and 25 fights.
ISW: “Russian troops lose initiative in Bakhmut”
Despite the limited nature of the defenders’ counterattacks, Russian troops are losing the initiative in the Bakhmut area. This is supported by the latest report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) on the conflict in Ukraine. Analysts at the American think tank say both Ukrainian and Russian officials have taken note of yesterday’s Ukrainian counterattacks near Bakhmut.
In particular, Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Malyar said that Kiev troops are advancing around Bakhmut. In turn, the spokesman of the Eastern group, Serhiy Cherevaty, said that the defenders advanced 500 meters in the direction of Bakhmut in the last day and continued to advance, encircling the Russian army.
In addition, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that the Russian Airborne Forces achieved a slight advance, but acknowledged the continuation of Ukrainian counterattacks around Bakhmut, in the area of Bohdanivka (5km NW of Bakhmut) and Ivanivskyi ( 6 km W of Bakhmut).